L-R: Matteo Salvini, Minister of the Interior of Italy; Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Minister of Immigration and Asylum; Credit: (c) MAEE

Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, today participated in the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (JHA) held in Innsbruck, Austria.

In light of the conclusions of the European Council of 28-29 June 2018, the JHA informal meeting enabled the ministers in charge of migration policy to take stock of the work for the reform of the Common European Asylum System.

In this context, Jean Asselborn delivered an intervention, during which he stated that had the migrant crisis happened in 2018 rather than 2015, the EU would still not be equipped to handle the situation, commenting that "the same chaos would be repeated in a very short time."  He went on to second German Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer's call to implement "a crisis-proof European migration policy".

Minister Asselborn added that: "A crisis-proof European asylum system requires [...] a fair burden-sharing between the Member States of the European Union, in parallel with external border management. If solidarity is not included in the burden-sharing, then I do not think we can ever reach a crisis-proof asylum system."

He went on to propose that the EU's external migration policy should be in cooporation with the UNHCR and the OIM and that such a "crisis-proof asylum system" would be in line with the Geneva Refugee Convention, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Treaties. He thus advocated a speedy response from the EU.

Finally, Minister Asselborn concluded that: "the number of [asylum] applicants in 2018 fell by 95% in relation to 2015. If we look at the numbers, we have to deal with a few thousands and not hundreds of thousands. It is not impossible to analyse and implement the proposals of the asylum package."